The Oppression Of Women In The Story Of Yingying By Zhang

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Zhang does point out in the story that women disregarding Confucian rules led to them ruining the lives of men. Zhang says, “Women either destroy themselves or destroy someone else…if she were to meet someone with wealth and position, she would use the favor her charms gain her to be cloud and rain or dragon or monster…” (Zhen 76). This means that a woman could flirt with a man in order to get what she wanted. She could be nice and beneficial for a man like rain helps the earth. However, she can also be a monster who goes against her husband, like the woman did in Chaste Woman. The Story of Yingying refers to two men whose downfalls were attributed to women. “King Xin of the Shang and King Yu of the Zhou were brought low by women, in spite …show more content…
Both of these men became so infatuated with their consorts they forgot to run their dynasties and in turn, their empires collapsed. This shows that no matter what kind of man you were, or how much power you possessed, you were not safe from women who wanted to be independent and take anything that they could.
We see that Yingying knows the difference between right and wrong when she says, “So finally I composed those vulgar lines to make sure you would come here. It was an improper thing to do, and of course I feel ashamed…” (pg 70). Yingying knows what her role as a woman is and she admits that she did something wrong, and feels bad because of it. This is comparable to Confucian values such as “etiquette, propriety, honesty, and righteousness” (Li). Yingying knows what is socially acceptable and remains honest when she tells Zhang that what he did is not morally right and she did not feel righteous sending Zhang a poem leading him on. We do see later on, however, that she disregards Confucian values altogether, but initially she does remain true
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This was especially true for women who wished to do more than just take care of their homes. Women, especially those in power, like Empress Wu, took control of their lives and challenged the typical Chinese social norms. Additionally, Confucian values were both followed and disregarded in The Story of Yingying. Yingying and Zhang both display ideas such as filial piety, humaneness, and etiquette. However, they also break some of the Confucian teachings in order to focus on their personal relationship with one another. In the end, Zhang chooses his education over Yingying, meaning he realizes that Yingying is like a seductress and is keeping him from reaching his full potential. Yuan Zhen wrote this story to teach people that there are things in life that will try to stop you from reaching your goal, but, in the end, you must make a decision and not be fooled by these distractions. Focus on Confucian values to help guide you to continue to gain knowledge and better yourself by finding peace and

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